The Joe Fournier Quartet | Calder's Circus

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Calder's Circus

by The Joe Fournier Quartet

Dig the West Coast, cool school of jazz from the 50's in a bari sax quartet setting, featuring animations from the composer on the cd.
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Love My Little Guy
5:33 album only
2. Calder's Circus; On The Highwire
2:50 album only
3. Calder's Circus; The Tumblers
1:38 album only
4. Calder's Circus; The Parade
5:34 album only
5. Simplicissimus
6:00 album only
6. I Wanted to Write a Poem
5:44 album only
7. Johnny Johnny Johnny Johnny Whoops!
3:35 album only
8. A Prayer For Owen Meany
4:22 album only
9. Dorian
5:45 album only
10. Au Revoir Gerry Mulligans
3:57 album only
11. Smile For Me Sweetly
4:03 album only
12. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit; Part I
2:41 album only
13. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit; Part II
6:05 album only


Album Notes
If you like West Coast jazz and you like animation, I think you would be very happy purchasing this cd. Below are the liner notes for your perusal. Also, you can check out some of the animations that are included on your cd at if you'd like.

Take care,



Joe Fournier: the formative years

At the tender age of seven, I, Joe Fournier, sedentary hot house flower that I was, raced my little heart out, besting a field of hundreds to finish in first place!

The event: Ping-pong Ball on a Spoon.

The common response: "Running? With flatware? In your mouth!"

Yes, yes, to all charges, yes. Remember now, these were the seventies, the "Me" decade,
as in "Me want to run with flatware in my mouth."

The result: Alas, as is true with many young athletes, I peaked too soon.

Having walked away on top, with no other moutain to climb, I turned my focus to
the arts.

This enhanced CD represents the fruits of some of my labors.

About the Quartet

Without Carter, Jon and Tim, you would be listening to way too much baritone saxophone,
a lovely instrument, but certainly not without its limits.

The Bass Player

Bass players tend to fall into one of three categories; those who favor the percussion function, those who favor the tonal function, or those who, thank heaven, do both. Put Jon Paul's name in that third category. His bass drives and sings, and he's a fine soloist to boot!

The Drummer

Tim Mulvenna is always exploring during rehersals. Whether he is reconstructing his drum set, trying different drum and cymbal combinations, or trying different grooves, he is tenacious in his pursuit. Of course, once he figures out what he wants to do, grab your horn and Katie Bar the Door!

The Pianist

Carter Luke, is flat out one of the most musical people I have ever met. He takes on all of my half-baked ideas and makes them sound full,smart and realized. In between bolstering my compositions, Carter does some really beautiful soloing.

The Bari Sax Player

This guy strikes me as one of those individuals whose self
interest is only trumped on rare occasion by his narcissium. "Oh look!" his body language tells us, "I'm playing this great big instrument! Love me, love me, love me!"

Sad. Very, very sad.

About the Tunes

I Love My Little Guy This is a tune I came up with after my son Charlie was born. I would sing it incessantly while pacing the length of our bungalow, trying to get the little monkey to drop off. (If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of a grown man's will snapping like a dry twig.)

Calder's Circus I have forever been a fan of Alexander Calder's work. From his mobiles back to his performances of The Circus, (a miniature circus constructed of wire and found objects) his work is fun, happy and just about everything good in between.

I animated the first two movements of the three using different Calder palettes. On The Highwire uses his very limited palette of (in this order of preference) black, red, yellow and blue. Though he used this pallet and its order in all his work, I was thinking of his printmaking and gouaches for the animation. For The Tumblers, I used his pen and ink style, which is a two dimensional realization of his wire sculptures.

I wrote all three pieces with the circus, Calder's Circus, in mind. The third movement, The Parade, hopes to capture the quality of the parade at the end of the circus,
revisiting all the acts in a circling curtain call of sorts.

Simplicissimus This was a graphics magazine from Germany in the 30's and 40's. I must admit, I simply like the name.

I Wanted to Write a Poem A marvelous William Carlos Williams ('Bill Carl Bills' to his
friends) poem.

Johnny Johnny Johnny Johnny Whoops! I wrote this for my brother John's quintet a few years ago, but it never made its way into the book. We had a lot of fun. In our
minds we looked like the Adderly brothers. On stage we looked like the Smothers

A Prayer for Owen Meany A great John Irving novel.

Dorian This is a tune I've had for some time. I've performed and arranged it for East Indian ensemble (I played bamboo flute), and for strings, marimba and penny whistle. I like this version, particularly the groove the guy's settled on.

Au Revoir Gerry Mulligans I'm sure it will come as no surprise that I love Gerry Mulligan. I was awfully sad when he passed away. Then, within about a month's time,
Gene Kelly, another of my heroes, passed away. My favorite Gene Kelly movie is An American in Paris, in which he plays a painter guessed it, Gerry Mulligan.

Smile For Me Sweetly A silly tune.

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (parts I and II) This is a Gregory Peck movie, which I always thought sounded like the title of a DeBussy piece.

About Joe

I fill my days as a political and pop culture caricaturist for dozens of publications. Chances are you have seen my work. However, unless my mother was in the room at
the time, no one pointed out that I did the illustration.

About the Animations

I am also an animator, so I've included a short set of animations that use the music on the CD. On The Highwire and The Tumblers are the first two movements of Calder's
Circus. PolarLust is a bit of silliness I animated using The Parade as its soundtrack.

These animations will play on your computer. (The CD will play on any CD player.)

Enjoy the CD, and take care,

Joe Fournier



to write a review

Thad Spencer

I Iove this CD. A truly unique sound in the world of jazz
After hearing this record I was struck with the question, "why isn't the bari sax used more as a lead instrument in mondern jazz"? Joe's expressive sound has the quality of melting ice on an early spring day. The musicainship of this band combined with Joe's writting and playing have put this record on the top of my playlist.

I look very forward to a future release